COMMENTARY: May 21 in retrospect

DAVAO CITY (24 May) — About four days have passed and here you are, still alive and reading one of the best newspapers in the universe (winks). Obviously the world hasn’t ended yet despite the strong, detailed and certain prediction of American and Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping.

It’s a shame that his whole Bible-based numerology predictions went down the drain along with large sums of cash spent for ugly advertising (which, by the way, wasn’t convincing—at all).

Such were also just a waste of money. Sayang.

The posters, billboards, and web advertisements, produced using funds from Camping and his followers, have now become a laughing stock of atheists and some disappointed Christian denominations. Clearly, one doesn’t need to have the brain of a scientist to understand just how disappointing and wasteful the prediction and the things it brought about are.

The multi-million dollar budget spent for crappy announcements could have been used to further the endeavors of Family Radio, a California-based radio station which has a wide span of coverage and listeners all over the US (and around the world through their website).

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a Christian and I strongly respect other religious beliefs, including, well, I’m not really sure about this one.

Spending millions of dollars for doomsday is simply sayang. The same amount of money could have been used to build churches in far-flung areas and in developing countries where pastors and evangelists are struggling to maintain a strong bond among growing Christian communities.

The money could have been used to send more missionaries to places where people have not heard of Christ before. Jesus, had he been alive today, would have wanted us to do the same.

Rather than rubbing on people’s faces the idea of doomsday, it could have been nicer had the financially-able Christian organization used their resources to share light. Yeah, sounds corny.

But why go the miles to announce doomsday? Why?!

I can’t help but feel extremely disappointed at these people who are deluded with their interpretations of the Bible. I think that the concepts of dates and time in the Bible have to be interpreted and understood by their own unique (and historic contexts). I’m a Christian but I don’t delude myself with the idea that the world has a deadline! If it has, then let it be. But if it hasn’t come yet, let’s live our lives and not make everyone look like dorks.

According to the Bible, Jesus will come “like a thief in the night.” Though that may be open to different interpretations whatsoever, it’s universal truth is evident: the end of the world will come as a surprise!

The worse thing about the whole doomsday prediction is that many people actually believed in it! It caused disruption in so many people’s lives.

For instance, a mother in Los Angeles almost killed her children using a box knife, while she herself endured blade cuts in her neck. She didn’t want her children to suffer in the end times, and that’s why she decided to “take control of things.”

There were also people who lost jobs—mainly because they quit!

And many Christian denominations, which didn’t believe in the May 21 prediction, were associated with his movement and were made to look like dorks.

While there is little respect left in me for Family Radio, I feel bad that they pushed their ideals and beliefs strongly on people’s faces (rather than just telling them the sweet life many people could have if they knew the simple story of Jesus).

Alarm isn’t always very helpful.

If the end of the world comes, truly, we’d know–because this article wouldn’t be published–and no one would be reading it.

And finally, a new discovery (and disappointment) on humankind: that there are actually people who live their lives to anticipate the end of the world. Such Christians who follow apocalyptic principles and beliefs perhaps should re-evaluate their spiritual stance. The May 21 fiasco was nothing but strong actions driven by syncretism and fanaticism.

What do you think? Share your thoughts before the world ends: [email protected]

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